Hope Care Transit looks forward to a new van

A new wheelchair accessible van is on the shopping list for the organization, after an $18,000 grant was awarded by Envision Financial.

The First West Foundation

The First West Foundation

The First West Foundation, which acts as an arm of the Community Endowment Fund branch at Envision Financial, recently granted Hope Care Transit, a cheque for $18,000 to go toward the non-profit organization’s dream of adding a wheelchair accessible van to the fleet.

The cheque will cover over half the cost to purchase the greatly anticipated van that features a lift and will accommodate up to three passengers.

“We are ready to go ahead with the purchase and are looking for the lowest kilometres on a two-year-old vehicle,” said Shari-Carrat, president of Care Transit. “We have the okay from the Board.”

The van will allow greater accessibility to those living in the community with medical needs in a much more efficient and cost effective manner.

Clients will be afforded the opportunity to travel comfortably to appointments and various outings in a style that was previously unavailable to them in a 20 person bus.

“Regular drivers can even drive it,” said Carrat of the van’s accessibility to Transit volunteers.

The organization is always looking for new drivers, so as not to burn out current volunteer drivers who contribute countless thousands of hours yearly, driving passengers to and from doctor’s appointments, outings and to meet bus connections in Chilliwack, such as the route 66 express that goes all the way to Vancouver.

“It’s a lot of wear and tear when we’re transporting passengers — so it’s nice to have a bigger, more comfortable vehicle for riders,” Carrat told The Hope Standard. “Hopefully it will open up the community more, while building and expanding as time goes on.”

Care Transit has been going strong since its conception in 2006 and will continue to implement its vision, while accommodating daily changes.

“It’s our goal to give the best service to as many people as possible in the community.”